Joy

Maybe it is because I am an English major. But Shakespeare was a really funny guy! I recently enjoyed a fabulous production of Much Ado About Nothing and laughed and laughed. Earlier that same day, I wondered how I would make it through work and wanted to go to bed after my lunch break. This Proverb speaks true:

“A joyful heart [i]is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

It’s getting toward the holidays, and many people have fantastic memories built around family, friends, and lots of crazy events. At the same time, there are many very hard memories and heartache built around family, friends, and lots of crazy events. Dreams do not always come true, and it hits the hardest in this season celebrating a carefree life.

Isaiah spoke of the Messiah to come, and His mercy on exiled Israel:

The Spirit of the Lord [a]God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the [b]afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And [c]freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called [d]oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus reached out His hand to those who were broken both physically and emotionally. He said,

“Come to Me, all [z]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is [aa]easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The offer is still open today.

So whether your life is going swimmingly, or you feel like you need a reset button, center your perspective around the One who is outside of the craziness of this life. God has the big-picture in place. And He calls us to a bright and glorious future. Don’t give up, you’ll make it! He says, and He’s with us all the way.

God, thank You for the bountiful blessings in my life, and so many chances to laugh and smile. And yet there are so many moments of confusion, anger, guilt, and frustration as well. Thank You for Your promises that pour hope on the wounds and give me the heart to go on. Please help me to share that hope with those around me. I love You! Amen.

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